SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Three days after appearing in his third straight Pro Bowl, Patrick Peterson made his first appearance in the Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am.
His helmet, uniform and cleats were replaced by a hat, white shirt, grey khaki pants and golf shoes.
The Cardinals’ cornerback certainly looked the part, but could he play the part at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium course?
“Actually I haven’t had much time to play this offseason…still shaking the cobwebs off,” Peterson said of his game. “I’m OK. I’m an acceptable golfer. I can score when I can, but I’m not a professional, yet.”
Peterson, while he certainly loves to play, obviously is not ready to make golf a full-time gig. He has a job, manning the Cardinals’ secondary. It’s a job he hopes to hold for quite awhile.
“I’m under contract for two more years, so I want to continue playing great football,” he said before teeing off. “Whenever (GM) Steve Keim and (team president) Michael Bidwill address me and my agent (about a contract extension), we’ll go from there.”
Peterson is three years into his four-year rookie contract, which includes a fifth-year option for 2015 should the Cardinals choose to exercise it. The Cardinals may also choose to try to work out an extension with Peterson, locking up one of their core defensive players long-term.
“I am eligible (for an extension this offseason),” he said. “Of course I would like an extension to stay here for a while, but it’s a business so we have to wait and see what happens.”
Statistically speaking, Peterson had a down year in 2013. He finished with three interceptions—four fewer than the year before—and a career-year low 40 tackles.
Peterson, however, was still ranked among the best defensive backs in the NFL and recognized as such by his peers, who voted him into the Pro Bowl for the second time as a cornerback and third time overall.
In the game Sunday, he picked off San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers.
“We had a lot of fun. There was a lot of excitement. The intensity level was definitely high,” Peterson said. “It’s always good to go to the Pro Bowl to meet some new guys; meet the guys who you play against and kind of see them in a different light outside of competing against each other when it really matters. It was fun going out there to Hawaii and putting up a great performance. Although we came up short, I still had a great time.”
Peterson played for Deion Sanders’ team, which lost 22-21 to Jerry Rice’s team, one that included fellow Cardinals John Abraham, Justin Bethel and Larry Fitzgerald.
“They didn’t get on me too bad (about losing),” Peterson said of his teammates. “It was just a good, competitive game and that’s all everybody wanted. We just wanted to make sure that we played the game hard enough so we can keep the game going and keep it in Hawaii, hopefully.”
Following his interception, Peterson, who wears No. 21, like Sanders, paid tribute by performing Sanders’ signature celebration dance.
“Wearing that No. 21, it’s just something that, it’s given,” Peterson said. “It wasn’t spontaneous or anything like that; just something that’s given.”
He hopes a contract extension is given, too.